Today we whisk you back to 2004. Your challenge is to determine which of the following vehicles was NOT available the year we met Hurricane Ivan.
If you don’t have a lucky number, you likely at least have a number or two you prefer to other digits. I, for example, rather like the numbers 2, 5, 14, and 21. I became aware of my fondness for these numbers one night while nursing a $2 gin and tonic at a now-defunct Iowa riverboat-casino roulette table.
Automakers like numbers, too. Many storied model names have been enhanced by a carefully placed numeric suffix. Think of such classic monikers as Cougar XR-7, Fury II, and Galaxie 500, and you get the idea.
I’ll just admit it. I chose 1974 because I wanted to get a car other than a Cadillac or Lincoln on the list. If you check out our The 5 Most Expensive Cars of 1972 post, you’ll a lineup of comprised entirely by cars of those makes.
The power went out in 1972. Manufacturers did their best to hide the muscle shortage behind the horsepower reporting conversion from SAE Gross to SAE Net, but we all knew the sad truth.
Responding to the pending arrival of low-lead gasoline, makers were forced to dial back the power, which was just as well, as auto insurers were getting nervous anyway.
How deep were the power cuts? Let’s look at the Chevrolet Corvette as an example. In 1971, the ‘Vette’s big block 454-cubic-inch V8 cranked out a reported 365 horsepower in its mildest state of tune. For 1972, the only 454 offered was good for just 270 ponies. Again, some of that decline was attributable to the new reporting standards, but sadly, most of it was just missing muscle.
A bumper sticker isn’t a tattoo. I get that. Unlike tattoos, bumper stickers and sundry window appliqués aren’t generally very expensive, and can usually be removed without too much difficulty. But, just as people often draw conclusions about folks with tattoos based on their tattoos, other drivers will judge you based on the stuff you’ve plastered on your bumper.
2014 Jaguar F-Type V8 S
Dates tested: 8/14/2014-8/21/2014
Miles Driven: 259
Fuel Used: 16.3 gallons
According to Consumer Guide© Auto ’75, Best Buy selections are, “chosen on the basis of market research into what buyers in each category are seeking in their cars; and on a straight-forward, dollars-and-cents evaluation of what buyers are getting in quality, durability, economy, and function.”
For those keeping score, 2014 represents a low point for compact pickups in the U.S. With the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon on hiatus, only Honda, Nissan, and Toyota currently offer vehicles in this class.
Fact: Japanese automobile manufacturers were just as willing as American makers to build fuel-thirsty trucks, they just weren’t as good at selling them. Had early versions of the Nissan Pathfinder or Toyota 4Runner sold nearly as well as the Ford Explorer, history might recall said companies less as the “green” good guys they came to be considered.